The FAA has halted flights into New York’s LaGuardia airport, citing staff shortage

Some headlines crossing the terminal from Schumer:

  • Schumer Says Trying to Work Something Out on Shutdown
  • Schumer Says He’s Had `Good Conversation’ With McConnell

A speedy conventional wisdom is taking hold that the LaGuardia Airport closing in New York will precipitate the end of the stalemate in Washington. Indeed, security delays for air travelers are the shutdown’s only real-life effect on many Americans.
One question is how this may affect the Transportation Security Administration’s reputation and bargaining position on budget, potential personnel cuts and the like. We’re starting to see a revival of the term “security theater”: the idea that the TSA, which in a 2015 internal investigation failed to detect 95 percent of mock explosives and weapons, merely gives travelers a feeling of security without actually providing it. Here’s Dylan Houseman at The Federalist, a conservative site:
One thing the TSA is good at is spending money. The agency’s annual budget is around $7.5 billion. Regardless of which part of the political spectrum you come from, we can all agree that money could go a long way elsewhere. The service the TSA currently provides could easily be privatized, saving taxpayers a ton of money.
Most airports in Europe and Canada have outsourced security to private contractors, and the TSA has deals with more than 20 U.S. airports that allow them to use private companies to conduct security screenings instead of TSA agents. These screenings must comply with current TSA protocols, but I’d go a step further. Let the airports or the airlines do it themselves.
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